George Rickey

American, 1907 - 2002

Two Trapezoids Eccentric, One Up, One Down, 1978, Stainless steel, 68 x 58 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches

installation of Two Trapezoids Eccentric, 1978  © Taylor | Graham


George Rickey was best known for his kinetic, steel sculptures. Born in South Bend, Indiana, Rickey studied history at Oxford University, and developed an interest in art while taking classes at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. Rickey continued his studies in Paris at the Académie Lhote and Académie Moderne under Fernand Léger and Amédée Ozenfant. After teaching for several years, Ricky served in the Army Air Corps during World War II as an engineer. While he worked to improve aircraft weaponry, Rickey became familiar with mechanical construction techniques that he later translated into his sculptures.

As one of the world’s foremost kinetic sculptors, sharing much in common with Calder and Tinguely, Rickey emerges as a unique and powerful presence in his own right by focusing on "movement as means." Less interested in the form of his sculptures than in the patterns of their movement, he also eschews motorized mechanization. His theoretical writings regarding kinetic sculpture combine a unique sensitivity to the forces that define the world with an especially well-developed talent for analytical insight.

Over four decades of dedicated experimentation, Rickey has forged a vast body of work, bringing him international acclaim. Today he is represented in major museum collections worldwide, in private collections, and in many outdoor public sites throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.